Assistant manager Colin West with reserve game reaction
Assistant manager Colin West gave us his reaction to the eventful reserve game away draw at Fleetwood on Tuesday.
“It was the ideal test for the players who aren’t quite getting into the team at the moment,” he said. “It keeps them ticking over and it gives them vital minutes so that when we need to use them – and we certainly will need to use them – they’ll be up to speed for us.
“We were happy with what we saw. The first half was tough in terms of the shape because they were asked to do it in a slightly different way, which they hadn’t done before, but they got on with it and they settled really well in the second half.”
“It’s always nice to see goals going in,” he agreed. “Derek [Asamoah] got himself a couple of good goals and Steven Rigg made a great run across the front of their man for the first one. Strikers get confidence from goals so, again, it’s been ideal for them to be involved.
“Fitness wise it keeps things topped up. Riggy let Dolly know he had felt something in his groin area, so he came off as a precaution in the first half, because it’s not worth risking that in a reserve game.
“Speaking as an ex-player I know that sometimes players can look at the fact they’re involved in a reserve game, but we see it as a step towards the first team. That means we want competition for places and they have to be pressing the lads who are in the first team right now.”
“It’s all about showing the management team they’re ready,” he commented. “We want to see the right attitude to go out and show us they’re better than those who have the shirt at the moment. They might think they should be involved anyway, so all they have to do is show us that.
“When you think about it, the team has been on a five game unbeaten run so these lads have to up their game to get back into it.”
Speaking about the Easter Monday home win over Bristol Rovers, he said: “It was great to win the game. We had a little bit of luck go our way, and we needed that, because we haven’t had a lot of it this season.
“We spoke to Darrell Clarke after the game and he was saying they’d had a lot of luck within certain games recently. So, it stayed with us this time, but we added to it with some great goals.
“The first goal from Jack [Stacey] was one which he curled round the player before it even got to the goalkeeper. It was a great finish and that was with him coming off the line to find a pocket of space.
“We’ve been doing a bit of finishing in training and it’s just trying to get them used to hitting the back of the net. I’ve been doing a little bit of heading with them as well ... but that possibly didn’t work out as well last week!”
And on whether or not the team can take the play-off push over the line, he said: “It has the feel of a team which is geared for success. When we had this situation at Hartlepool it was with exactly the same team spirit we have at this club. There’s no reason why we can’t take this on.”
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